16 Great Election Movies to Restore Your Faith in Democracy
Because your Facebook feed is just...ugh...
Think of it as a feel-good alternative to your politically charged social feeds: These 16 movies will get you in the election spirit without breaking your spirit. Cue ‘em up before November 8.
Even though, in a fit of rage, she tore down all of her opponent’s campaign posters, we’d vote for Reese Witherspoon—er, Tracy Flick—every time.
“The American President”
Aaron Sorkin wrote this gem about a widowed U.S. president (Michael Douglas) who falls for a charming lobbyist (Annette Bening). Cue the drop in approval ratings, but also the romance.
Dreamboat (and leftist) Robert Redford has zero chance of winning a Senate seat until his campaign manager tweaks his messaging. Then, game on.
It’s the story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), a gay activist in the '70s who went on to become California’s first openly gay elected official—and a patron saint of that civil-rights movement.
Not even the first lady (Sigourney Weaver) knows that an average guy (Kevin Kline) has been made the president’s body double after POTUS suffers a debilitating stroke. The concept is a little weak, but the comedy is gold.
“Head of State”
After the presidential and vice presidential candidates are killed in a plane crash, a "man of the people" (Chris Rock) unexpectedly runs for office—and, of course, goes a little off script.
“The Ides of March”
Ryan Gosling plays an idealistic campaign manager. George Clooney plays the dirty presidential candidate. It gets ugly. But they’re still pretty.
Joan Allen earned an Academy Award nomination for her role as the first woman elected to a presidential office after the sitting VP unexpectedly dies.
“Man of the Year”
Robin Williams stars as the satirical host of a political talk show who decides to follow through on his claims that he’d be a better president than the dude currently in the White House. Drama ensues.
When a congressman (Will Ferrell) commits a major political faux pas, two rival CEOs have to frantically come up with a backup candidate. Their choice? The one, the only… Zach Galifianakis.
“Wag the Dog”
A mere two weeks before reelection, the U.S. prez (Dustin Hoffman) finds himself at the center of a major sex scandal. Good thing a spin doctor (Robert De Niro) is there to clean things up.
“The Distinguished Gentleman”
A candidate (Eddie Murphy) develops a conscience mid-campaign in this political comedy about a man using his own name recognition to con his way into Congress.
John Travolta plays a smooth-operator presidential candidate from the South with an ambitious wife (Hillary Clinton Emma Thompson).
In a cutthroat race for the presidency, it all comes down to one man’s vote: Kevin Costner’s. (Make it count, Kev.)
A politically disillusioned senator (Warren Beatty) orders a contract killing on himself just before he meets a woman (the ever-lovely Halle Berry) who restores his faith in the system just in time.